Article: Round 3 of Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas now open for BFI FAN members

This week marks the anniversary of the Culture Recovery Fund being launched which, to date, has supported more than 250 cinemas via the BFI and Arts Council England. Round 3 of the fund is now open to eligible cinemas.

The Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas is part of the UK government’s cultural recovery package providing £1.57 billion, the biggest ever single investment in this country’s cultural and heritage sectors. To date, over £1.2 billion has been allocated from the Culture Recovery Fund, reaching over 5,000 individual organisations and sites.

As part of this package, the fund, administered by the BFI, has awarded a total of £27.6 million to 209 independent cinemas across England, from Penrith to Penzance. This has meant that 78% of eligible cinemas for the fund have been awarded grants to date, of which 87% are located outside London.

At the 2021 Budget Review, the Chancellor announced an additional £300 million to support the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) in 2021 / 2022, to continue to support key cultural organisations as they reopen for their audiences while maintaining COVID-safe spaces and accessibility, and to ensure a vibrant future for the culture sector as the nation recovers from the pandemic.

The BFI is distributing £8 million of the Culture Recovery Fund in Round 3, based on criteria set by the DCMS.

This round of funding will have two strands as set out below.

  • Strand One: Emergency Resource Support – for organisations that are in severe need and have not yet received support from the Culture Recovery Fund
  • Strand Two: Continuity Support – for organisations that are in need and have already received support from the Culture Recovery Fund

Strand One: Emergency Resource Support (ERS)

The aim of this strand of the fund is to help maintain England’s cultural ecology by supporting culturally significant organisations, which are now at imminent risk of failure due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, and have exhausted all other options for increasing their resilience.

Applications to this fund are by permission only and links to the applications forms will only be sent to those who have completed a permission to apply form and received an affirmative response. Organisations should apply at the point at which they are 12 weeks from ceasing to trade viably and no earlier.

All permission to apply forms must be submitted by midday 30 September 2021. 

If eligible to apply, we will email you a link to a full application form and supporting financial pack that must be submitted by 15 October 2021.

If you have read the ERS fund guidelines and are unsure whether you are eligible to apply, or if you require additional support using the application form, please contact us on

Emergency Resource Support: Guidelines and information

The following documents are for Culture Recovery Fund Round 3 – Emergency Resource Support. Rounds One and Two of the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England are now closed to new applications.

Please ensure you have read the most up to date fund guidelines before you complete the application form.

You will be required to complete the financial template below as part of your application.

You must use the permission to apply financial template provided and must attach it to your application as a Microsoft Excel Worksheet (.xlsx). If you submit a pdf version, your application will be considered ineligible and you will be asked to resubmit.

Permission to apply forms can be accessed below.

Apply for permission

Strand Two: Continuity Support

Strand Two: Continuity Support – for organisations that are in need and have already received support from the Culture Recovery Fund – to open in the coming weeks.  This strand is not yet open.

For venues in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, please contact your Screen Agencies for further information: NI ScreenScreen Scotland and Ffilm Cymru Wales.


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